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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of George Balanchine's Jewels live in cinemas?

Your Reaction: What did you think of George Balanchine's Jewels live in cinemas?

A selection of audience responses to The Royal Ballet's performance of 'Emeralds', 'Rubies' and 'Diamonds', relayed to cinemas across the world.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

11 April 2017 at 11.16pm | 41 Comments

What did you think of Jewels live in cinemas?
Share your thoughts via the comments below.

Jewels runs until 21 April 2017. Tickets are still available.

The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Hans and Julia Rausing, Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Lady Ashcroft, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson, Peter Lloyd and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

11 April 2017 at 11.16pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged broadcast, by George Balanchine, cinema, Diamonds, Emeralds, Jewels, Laura Morera, Marianela Nuñez, Rubies, Sarah Lamb, Social Media, Steven McRae, Thiago Soares, your reaction

This article has 41 comments

  1. Jane scott responded on 11 April 2017 at 11:37pm Reply

    Emeralds was beautiful, Rubies was breathtaking, but Marianela was sublime in Diamonds.

  2. Christine Smith responded on 11 April 2017 at 11:38pm Reply

    Jewels - Emeralds - beautiful, Rubies - spectacular, Diamonds - dazzling finale. Loved every minute of it

  3. Constanze Janssen responded on 11 April 2017 at 11:58pm Reply

    Thamk You for this incrediblyamazing
    evening at Your house! Beautiful dancers,Brillant technic!

  4. Ellen responded on 11 April 2017 at 11:59pm Reply

    Wow. What a showcasing of the Royal Ballet - it was absolutely glorious and I know I saw many dancers in sheer ecstasy tonight. I beamed right along with Marianela towards the end when she knew she had nailed the whole thing - her and Thiago were truly great growing from icy dignified majesty to mellow sparkle and joy and the whole ballet is of course absolutely splendid.

    Melissa Hamilton really stood out tonight - a fantastic presence and beautifully complimented Sarah and Steven. The latter pair were completely radiant though which is such a pleasure to see Sarah Lamb able to exhibit the joyous part of her character through Rubies.

    Beatrix was so elegant and self-assured and the men such fantastic partners, perhaps taking less of the after glory but clearly such wonderful talents; the whole ballet was executed with confidence and pleasure.

    The filming was occasionally too close for comfort in Emeralds, though Beatrix and Laura were beautifully serene, but some of the tableaux were too close allowing us to see too much furrowed concentration. A longer camera view would have been nicer here, but Rubies and Emeralds were filmed beautifully.

    I love how Jewels can really show off dancers at their absolute best. I love narrative ballets but Balanchine shows us how ecstatic it can be without story. How wonderful to observe artists being truly great.

  5. Ernest Castro responded on 12 April 2017 at 5:46am Reply

    Was this in theatres in California? I wanted to see this very much. I have seen it live, and on DVD but I wanted to see it on a big screen.

    • Noelia Moreno responded on 12 April 2017 at 9:55am

      Hello Ernest,

      Thank you for your message. There are a number of cinemas showing Jewels in California in May. Please check our website here to find a location near you.

      Best wishes,
      ROH Cinema

  6. Joanne Beaver responded on 12 April 2017 at 8:13am Reply

    As always captivating. Kevin O Hare fabulous ,his management of ballet flawless.
    Hope the new Opera supremo is so in touch with audience's.
    PLEASE why can't we have a male dancer to replace Ore, he really does grate ,dumbing down or what !!

  7. Terence Johnson responded on 12 April 2017 at 10:03am Reply

    What a joy! Lamb and Mcrae should be bottled as a tonic! A truly wonderful evening. Thank you Royal Ballet.

  8. Hayley Wakeford responded on 12 April 2017 at 10:12am Reply

    Jewels was quite magnificent. Rubies was my favourite but Diamonds was a very close second! Absolutely stunning dancing from the very start to the finish! Thank you so much for allowing us to watch it live, without having to travel to London. Ore did a fantastic job at presenting too. Can't wait for the next one.

  9. Steph responded on 12 April 2017 at 10:44am Reply

    Absolutely loved it. Especially Rubies blew me away (please more of Melissa Hamilton and Sarah Lamb!!! (and while we're at it Beatrix Stix-Brunell and James Hay).
    Great choreography, brilliantly danced, beautifzl costumes and set. Thanks to the Royal Ballet for doing these cinema relays!

  10. Colman responded on 12 April 2017 at 11:21am Reply

    I saw that cast twice, once on Thursday in the ROH and once in the cinema last night. The dancers were wonderful, but the camera work knocked about 20% of the brilliance off the performance and ruined the effect of much of the choreography by disrupting its development and making it impossible to follow it. So much of something like Jewels depends on the movement of the dancers as a group, and the closeups and shots jumping around the place like you're filming an especially hyperactive music video ruins that.

    Did anyone get the jokes in the cinema? Nunez's head turn and McCrae's look over at the lads got ripples of laughter in the ROH. They just weren't funny in the cinema because they were out of context.

    • Ruth Kennedy responded on 26 April 2017 at 9:03pm

      On the contrary, McRae's nod to the lads as they flew round the stage was my highlight of the evening -- in the cinema.

  11. Fiona Reed responded on 12 April 2017 at 11:29am Reply

    Watched last nights live broadcast at Alnwick Playhouse in Northumberland and what a performance! Lets get my one and only gripe out of the way first - Ore smart tux jacket and no tie! Come on get it sorted for next time. Talking of presenters, Kirstin McNally was lovely, calm, assured, informed and looked stunning, a real find. Now onto the ballet. Emeralds lovely lyrical, romantic style and the dancers were so light and ethereal. A lovely calm start before Rubies! Wow Steven and Sarah at their syncopated best. Fast but precise and clean dancing blew me away and left me breathless. They looked like they were really enjoying it too as I am sure they were. The whole Rubies cast were great and Steven and Sarah brilliant as always. That led onto Diamonds, Balanchine's homage to the classical brilliance of Petipa anf beautifully danced by Marianela and Thiago along with the rest of the dancers. Beautiful Tchiakovsky score which rounded off a perfect evening with the Royal Ballet. Can I also praise Kevin O'Hare whose interviews I always enjoy on these occasions. ROH please you must release a DVD of that superb performance last night. Roll on the Ashton triple bill in June. Brilliant night, thank you everyone.

  12. Mike responded on 12 April 2017 at 11:35am Reply

    Stunning performance of Jewels but what annoying comperes - please bring back Darcey Bussell!

  13. David responded on 12 April 2017 at 2:37pm Reply

    I thoroughly endorse the ecstatic comments. Following on from the last comment, are you planning to release a DVD please?

    • Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 12 April 2017 at 2:52pm

      Dear David,

      Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you enjoyed the performance.

      Unfortunately, Jewels won't be released on DVD - sorry!

      All the best,

      Asher Korner
      Interim Assistant Content Producer

  14. Valerie Knight responded on 12 April 2017 at 2:45pm Reply

    Enjoyed 'Jewels' at the cinema last night but I agree with some of the comments above about the camera work spoiling the build up of excitement especially in 'Diamonds'. We saw Lauren Cuthbertson and Vadim Muntagirov at ROH and they were wonderful. On the whole I preferred the cast at that matinee performance with the exception of 'Rubies'. Sarah Lamb and Melissa Hamilton shone. Appreciate 'Emeralds' more each time I see it! Once again, I thought the lighting at the Odeon Cinema Dorchester too dark. Looking forward to 'The Dream' Triple Bill in June.

    • Colman responded on 12 April 2017 at 4:44pm

      Valerie, the cinema cast sparkled when we saw them live. I've come to conclusion that the cinema broadcast knocks about 20% off the show.

  15. smd responded on 12 April 2017 at 2:52pm Reply

    Enjoyed Emeralds' romanticism, Rubies jazzy speed but favourite for me was the elegant controlled classicism on display in diamonds, in part because the larger ensemble meant the camera pulled back and we saw more of the whole stage and therefore the choreographers intention, to show dancers as jewels on fabulous settings. Nunez fantastic, catching every nuance of the piece.. Personally l don't need closeups of dancers most of the time, show ballet as it was intended :full stage from the front(" Nicholas Hytner) enjoyed expert commentary.

  16. Raffaella responded on 12 April 2017 at 3:36pm Reply

    Absolutely stunning! Emeralds and Diamonds were wonderful but Rubies will always be my favourite and Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb were absolutely amazing!

    I’m really sorry to hear that there won’t be a DVD available so last night will be the one and only time I’ll ever get to see that glorious Rubies pas de deux (there are no repeat showings here in Rome). It’s so sad to think that last night’s performances will be forever archived, especially since there aren’t enough Jewels production DVDs!

    Still it was a wonderful evening. Thank you ROH for the live stream!

  17. Jakegee responded on 12 April 2017 at 3:56pm Reply

    Well done, Ore Oduba and Kristen McNally for your very professional, informative commentaries and linkages in presenting the entire evening. No fluffs, no gush!! Good humour prevailed throughout!

    The stage set and costumes in "Emeralds" were simply stunning. Laura sparkled, as did Beatriz, who had a notable evening. Ryoichi, Valeri and James all danced and partnered to perfection - the male dancers are sometimes not given due credit!

    Steven and Sarah showed their usual ability in "Rubies" and it was a very welcome return to the ROH stage for Melissa Hamilton! We have missed you!

    In "Diamonds", the Corps de Ballet were outstanding throughout, the stars of this final piece. Marianela smiled and appeared to enjoy her performance, but Thiago showed no facial expression whatever, and overall I better enjoyed the live performance I saw in the ROH last week with Principals Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano.

  18. Andrea responded on 12 April 2017 at 5:20pm Reply

    Jewells was fantastic. World class. The Royal Ballet dancers are incredible and an inspiration to me. Enjoyed the interviews and thanks to Kristin and Ore for their insights.

    As an aside, are future DVD performances going to be available for download? I'd rather download and watch on my tablet/laptop/TV than buy a DVD these days.

    • Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 13 April 2017 at 11:42am

      Dear Andrea,

      Thanks for your comment, It's great to hear you enjoyed Jewels and found the interviews interesting! I'm afraid that at this point, the cinema broadcasts will only be released on DVD and unfortunately won't be available for download.

      Occasionally, interviews and insights are made available on our youtube channel, which you can access here:

      And all of our DVDs are on sale here at our online shop:

      I hope this helps, and once again I'm sorry that the cinema broadcasts won't be available for download!

      All the best,

      Asher Korner
      Interim Assistant Content Producer

  19. Fiona responded on 12 April 2017 at 9:20pm Reply

    As my 'Ballet buddy' was ill, I dragged my husband along, who loves dance (adored Wolff Works) but doesn't 'do' tutus - Rubies was a stunning crowd pleaser, but he loved Emeralds!!! Beatrix Stix-Brunell is so beautifully fluid.
    Any further news on the release of Wolff Works on DVD?

    • Noelia Moreno responded on 13 April 2017 at 11:30am

      Hello Fiona,

      Thank you for your comment. I'm so pleased you and your husband enjoyed our cinema relay of Jewels. The DVD of Woolf Works will be released by Deutsche Grammophon, although we don't have a date yet.

      Best wishes,
      ROH Cinema

  20. Daphne responded on 12 April 2017 at 9:36pm Reply

    A stunning evening. Rubies was amazing. Steven and Sarah were fantastisch. Thank you dancers and love from Holland.

  21. robert mitchell responded on 13 April 2017 at 9:54am Reply

    i was aware of the extreme technical ability shown
    however save in the case of two dancers their concentration on what had to be done prevented their being able to rise above it and act a part.
    AND sadly on occasion in slow music their movements were out of sync - not a lot - but noticeably.

    Great staging and costuming

    However a very memorable evening but imperfect for DVD posterity.

    i am 75 and a new enthusiast.

  22. Thomas Geddes responded on 13 April 2017 at 10:09am Reply

    Steven McRae stole the show.

  23. Norma Rothwell responded on 13 April 2017 at 7:34pm Reply

    My Grand daughter Rachel said it all - a real jewel in the crown of the Royal ballet performances. My second viewing of a live performance of Jewels (previous the Kirov in London some time ago) and it improves with each one. Beautiful costumes, elegant sets and three lovely contrasting pieces of music to complement the wonderful dancing.

  24. L Beatty responded on 14 April 2017 at 11:20am Reply

    The filming has improved. In Emeralds there were too many close-ups yet again so we weren't able to see the wonderful patterns of Balanchine's ballets. It improved for the next two and we saw much of the ensemble in Diamonds.

    The climax of each section came over really well in the cinema and it surprised me how thrilling they were.

    By the way, I noticed the diamond necklace straight away and commented on it to my friend!

    As for Steven McCrae's chainés......

  25. Pauline Hunter responded on 14 April 2017 at 11:55am Reply

    All three section were fabulous and the dancers who performed Rubies looked as though they were enjoying it as much as we were.

  26. Felicity responded on 15 April 2017 at 10:57pm Reply

    I was extremely impressed by the performance of Jewels in the cinema last week (watched in Southern Spain) as the Royal Ballet seems to give it more nuance and expression than other companies. (The Balanchine Trust stagers perhaps won't like me writing that!) However my main reason for sending a comment is that I want to lend my support for the two presenters: Ore Oduba has just the right touch with his comments for someone outside the ballet world while Kristen McNally can do no wrong for me, whether as a dancer, a superb Carabosse or as a presenter. She is totally assured, informed and professional without being gushy. She was also looking very glamorous the other night! I appreciate that we can't always have her doing the presentation and interviews as she is often in the cast on stage!

  27. kathryn schwartzentruber responded on 16 April 2017 at 12:23am Reply

    I was not impressed...I thought the male dancers lacked a lot...and the ballet was lacking in any kind of emotion.....not up to standards

  28. Susan Barnes responded on 17 April 2017 at 1:02pm Reply

    Magnificent sat enthralled all the way through, went with some trepidation but came out speechless. More please

  29. Joan Hance responded on 17 April 2017 at 3:48pm Reply

    At 2.52 Ashner Korner says "Jewels won't be released on DVD - sorry". At 11.42 he says "cinema broadcasts will only be released on DVD". Which is correct?

    • Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 18 April 2017 at 10:14am

      Dear Joan,

      Thanks for your comment, and very sorry for the confusion.

      Unfortunately, not all of our cinema broadcasts will be made available to purchase - Jewels, for example, will not be released on DVD. The cinema broadcasts that are made available to purchase will only be released on DVD and not as a download.

      Hope this clears things up, and apologies once again,

      All the best,

      Asher Korner
      Interim Assistant Content Producer

  30. Patricia responded on 17 April 2017 at 9:56pm Reply

    Hi, I'm Patricia and I attend this performance the last saturday 15th. I traveled from Spain to London just to see this beautiful company (but my first objective was to watch Marianela Nuñez). I enjoyed the show so much and watch this ballerina in person was the best experience i have ever lived. But I have a very awful critic about the show and it's that, as i was sitting in the second line in the Orquestra Stalls, there was a kind of wall in the stage that couldn't leave me see the ballerins/ballerinas feet!!!!!. And I think that is very serius problem and big fail for you, the ROYAL OPERA HOUSE.
    I will go again to see the best company in the world, but i will try to sit in other stall, unless you correct that.

    Thank you so much in advance,


  31. Annabel Charles responded on 18 April 2017 at 10:36pm Reply

    Have just seen an encore screening of Jewels and enjoyed it very much - though Rubies and Diamonds more than Emeralds. Can I echo what others have said about Sarah Lamb and Stephen McRae? They were absolutely stunning. I also loved Marienela Nunez. Have now seen her in Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Jewels - and would go to see anything that she appears in - she is the most enchanting dancer.
    I do agree about the filming, though. I want to see what I would see if I were at the ROH and sometimes the shots, particularly the close ups, undermine that, particularly in a ballet like Jewels, where the patterns of movement of all dancers on stage are important.
    I enjoy the introductions and commentary - and think Ore and Darcey work well together. Agree that Kevin O' Hare is good value - and delighted to hear that Alice and Winter's Tale are going to be broadcast next season.

  32. Norma Rothwell responded on 21 April 2017 at 4:53pm Reply

    I really do not see why all the screenings cannot be released afterwards on DVD. I have one of Jewels by Paris Opera Ballet, but would love the Royal one if only for the beautiful costumes. The dancing left nothing to be desired either except for no Vadim. I would watch anything with him in, as well as many of the other stars. Sleeping Beauty too on DVD - I only have ten versions so far so another would be welcome. I am not alone in wanting more and more live, cinema and recordings (to relish again)

  33. Felicity responded on 21 April 2017 at 11:41pm Reply

    On the subject of DVDs of cinema relays,I was one of the people who added my voice to the plea for Marianela's Giselle last year to come out in DVD, so this is just to say a big thank you to whoever was responsible for making that decision.

  34. Stephen Camburn responded on 7 May 2018 at 6:50am Reply

    I would like to know more about the Jewels costume designer, Peter Harvey. Thank you

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